Romuald Karmakar examines techno culture with the cold reserve of a sociologist. He presents DJs like they are inventors trying to discover new sounds. The film opens with a long shot of a pile of cables, consoles, amplifiers, keyboards-this is the sound lab of Ricardo Villalobos, alongside Sonja Moonear, Ata, Roman Flugel, and Move D, one of the film's protagonists. One of the myths surrounding techno is the belief that it is easy to understand. Sound is reduced to its basic elements, but because of its minimalism, the details are subtle. DJ Ata compares techno to a carpet. Everyone can look at it, but to understand its structure, you need to invest time and attention. In Karmakar's work, naive questions and banal answers are turned into surprising hypotheses. Did the Germans reunify after 1991 as a result of popular parties where the beat was the lowest common denominator? Is techno a new form of romanticism? Are its creators escapists with inclinations for social utopia who want to feel more? Are they seekers of greater spirituality? The film's title quotes meaningfully from Heinrich Heine's poem Night Thoughts.
Romuald Karmakar is a director and visual artist of French origin. He was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1966. In 1994, he founded his own production company, Pantera Film. His feature debut, The Deathmaker, (1995) brought home a Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actor (Götz George) at the Venice Film Festival. He directed a famous club trilogy (196 BPM, Between the Devil and the Wide Blue Sea, Villalobos, 10th New Horizons) that deals with the subject of electronic music and club culture as the most important form of cultural activism in the 21st century. In 2013, he represented Germany at the Venice Biennale. In 2017, he was invited to participate in documenta 14 in Athens and in Kassel.
1987 Coup de Boule (short, doc.)
1989-92 Warheads (doc.)
1995 Morderca / Der Totmacher
2000 Das Himmler-Projekt (doc.)
2002 196 BMP (doc.)
2005 Between the Devil and the Wide Blue Sea (doc.)
2009 Villalobos (doc.)
2011 Die Herde des Herrn (doc.)
2012 Angriff auf die Demokratie - Eine Intervention
2017 Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht / If I Think of Germany at Night